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Alliston woman rediscovers passion for fine art with pet portraits

August 28, 2020   ·   0 Comments

An Alliston woman recently reignited her fire for artistic creation in the form of acrylic and oil animal portraits.

Luanne Turner has always gravitated towards art since her youth and worked as a graphic designer for 25 years before retiring in December of 2018. 

She said shortly after retirement, with more free time on her hands, she painted a pet portrait for a friend and since then she’s been hooked.

“When I did that, it just kind of reignited something in me; I found I really liked doing that, so I started doing it more and more,” Turner recalls. “I love animals, horses, dogs, all animals.”

She joined the South Simcoe Arts Council (SSAC) in January of 2019, a month after creating the pet portrait for her friend and her art career has snowballed from there.

While Turner does paintings of llama, sheep, pigs, donkeys, cows and other animals, a majority of her commissions comes from people requesting portraits of their dog or cat.

“For the South Simcoe Arts Council, I just have been experimenting with my style and just having some fun rather than doing really, really detailed animals, it was a nice shift to kind of do something for myself,” she explained.

During Turner’s time with the SSAC she’s helped to host a guided painting session and looks forward to their usual events fully returning as COVID-19 numbers continue to decline. She also hopes to teach a painting class eventually when it’s safe to do so.

Turner said the virus and lockdowns haven’t impacted her painting too much, but finding art supplies early on was a challenge.

When it comes to the act of painting itself, she told the Times her favourite part is getting past the “ugly stage,” early on after the base layer is painted, and watching it slowly come to life.

“I also love the end result, getting to see how happy the customer is,” she said.

While a lot of Turner’s work has a similar theme of pets and animals, she said it’s easy to stay entertained, as she appreciates any opportunity to paint.

“I never get bored with it, even when I’m laying in bed at night I think about – it’s crazy. I paint things in my sleep, so it’s a bit of an addiction…but I definitely love it,” she smiled.

Turner has shifted her operations online to a store on Red Bubble which she’s working to grow with more pet themed art.

Going forward she plans on entering work into the SSAC’s annual Arts on Main juried art show, which will be on display in the downtown corridors of Alliston, Tottenham and Beeton from September 14 to October 5.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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